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Should I turn my AC off if it’s not cooling?

You certainly never look forward to when your AC stops working. Particularly because when it does stop it is likely to be on one of the hottest days. However, AC malfunctions happen no matter how much care you give your unit.

Why would an AC system stop cooling?

There are several reasons why your AC might have stopped working as expected. Some of them are easy to fix, such as a thermostat that has not been set accurately or a filter that needs to be replaced. Others are much more complicated and may require a visit from an AC repair company to replace a component. The repairman may discover that the heat pump is damaged, the condenser has an obstruction, the evaporator coil has sprung a leak or any other problems.

What can you do before the repair service shows up?

Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and check if the filter is dirty and clean it or replace it. However, do not continue resetting the breaker repeatedly because you will only create a bigger problem that may affect your furnace or AC system. The most important thing you can do with an AC that is not cooling is to turn it off as soon as possible and call an AC service. Don’t believe that having at least some cool air blowing through your home is better than none at all. All you will do is compound the problem and make the issue even more difficult to diagnose.

What can happen if a damaged AC is kept running?

Keeping an AC that is not cooling on may stress the AC and cause a more serious issue. If the defective piece is the capacitor, keeping it running will stress it and create a high-temperature overload on the outdoor fan motor and compressor. In the end, instead of just needing a new capacitor, you will have to pay for a new fan motor and compressor.

If your equipment is frozen or iced up, keeping it running means that it will take the AC technician extra time to diagnose and repair it while they wait for it to thaw.

Do yourself and your AC unit a big favor and turn it off as soon as you realize it is no longer cooling the home. Then get on the phone and schedule a service call.

What can you do to keep your AC running efficiently?

As mentioned, get into the habit of regularly changing the filter every 1 to 3 months. Dirty filters are responsible for a reduction in airflow, which makes your house uncomfortable and can damage the compressor. Surprisingly, something else you can do is to keep blinds and curtains closed during the hottest months. This simple action can lower the temperature of the house and allow the air conditioner to function better. Finally, Downtown Air and Heat recommends that you have your AC serviced annually to keep it functioning at its highest efficiency.

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